Women Rights Activists unhappy with South Sudan unity government structure

A new report by Women rights defenders indicates that the recently endorsed South Sudan Peace deal lacked a fundamental gender perspective, hanging the safety of venerable groups in balance.

The Addis-Ababa US Brokered peace deal saw the formation of a Unity government comprising of 5 vice presidents, entrusted with a three years duty to organize the first ever general election, conduct a disarmament program and integration all armed groups into a national army, in addition to  the reduction of South Sudan States from 32 to only 10.

A consortium of Women Rights group from Uganda and South Sudan now argue that with Only One Woman expected to share the Vice Presidency; the deal lacked gender lenses to ensure the 35% women representation cuts across all decision making levels.

Hellen Kezienwoha the Executive Director Women’s International Peace Center who conducted the study, says the 35% women share of decision making positions should cut across all government structures, if the  new  unity government were to be effective.

“ Even the  five  Vice President Positions,  its only one that is eyed by a Woman,- Rebecca  Garang-, this  does  not  fully reflect  equity,  it  should  mirror a 50/50  distribution,” asserted  KezieNwoha,  as   she  disseminated  the report at a  two days  South Sudan  Women refugee  Conference   on  Peace  Building , in  Adjumani district.

The conference brought together   South Sudan Refugee Women in Ugandan Settlement camps hosted in Koboko, Yumbe and Andjumani Districts.

On her part,  head of   South Sudan’s Center for Inclusive Governance, peace and Justice Jacqueline Nasiwa,  called  for  a deliberate  policy structure, to ensure  women are  directly  part of   the entire South Sudan’s  peace  process  to  yield  tangible  results, being  the most  victimized  group  of the   6 years   insurgence.

Meanwhile women refugees from the three Ugandan districts called  for  more strict gender sensitive safety measure by the newly set Unity government, before they can return back home.

These to them  include an all Inclusive  peace  building process,  the   institution of  a  national  reconciliation program, a  quick disarmament strategy,  and a functioning set of  state institutions for viable, safe, and secure  social   economic and Political  environment for  vulnerable groups, like women, and children.

 

Story by,

Julius Bagenda Ggayi
28th February, 2020